10 Tips for Putting the “Fun” in Funemployment

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Unemployment Tips: How to Put the Fun in Funemployment

Losing your job is a stressful experience; there’s no doubt about that. But there may be a silver lining to the situation: free time. You finally have the opportunity to get to that to-do list that kept piling up while you were slaving away as a nine-to-fiver. Here are a few tips for making the most of your funemployment:

1. Figure out how much “fun” money you have. Okay, what I’m really encouraging you to do is budget. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but I assure you it allows you to enjoy fun without feeling stressed out about it. Those unemployment checks are only a fraction of what you were raking in before, so it’s important to set aside enough money to cover your regular expenses. There’s nothing fun about running out of cash. You may find that you have to tap into your savings to cover expenses. If that’s the case, figure out how long your savings will last you and look for ways to trim back. For example, you may have been paying for a maid service previously, but now that you have more free time, that might be a task you can take on yourself to save money.

2. Go on a trip! When you have a job, planning a long vacation can be difficult, but now that you’re funemployed, seize the opportunity. You can apply for jobs from anywhere with the help of the Internet. Of course, where you go and what you can do will depend highly on how much of that “fun” money you have. One of the best trips to take if you’re low on cash is a visit with family or friends. Since you have a place to stay and food to eat, your biggest expense will be getting there and back, and you can keep that cost under control by taking a road trip instead of flying. After all, you have the time. If it’s too far away to drive, you can still take advantage of the cheaper flights during the week since you don’t have to worry about getting back to work on Monday.

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3. Take advantage of weekday deals. Many restaurants and bars offer happy hours and lunch deals during the day to entice customers to come in during their slower times. Do a little research into your favorite spots and see how you can save and still have a good time.

4. Look for free events. First, you grab a cup of joe from your local coffee shop before heading to your morning yoga class. Then you head for a nice afternoon at the museum, and you follow it up with a movie screening. Sound like fun? Well, it’s feasible that you can do all of these things for free if you live near a major metropolitan area. Check out Craigslist or look for the event calendar on your city’s website to get started.

5. Join forces with other funemployed friends. Of course, finding all the coolest free and inexpensive things to do is great, but what fun is it if you have no one to go with? Find out who else you know is currently funemployed and invite them to join. They’re likely twiddling their thumbs during the middle of the day just like you. If you don’t know anyone, it’s easy to connect with others through networking events or websites like Meetup.com.

6. Volunteer. It’s a great way to network and keep your skill set up-to-date, and it gives you something to talk about when an interviewer asks what you’ve been up to lately. But best of all, it’s fun! Find a cause or a project that you’re passionate about, or try out new potential career fields.

7. DIY. You know all those house projects you’ve been putting off? Now might be the right time to make them a priority. Instead of hiring a contractor, you can save cash and have fun by doing it yourself. Websites like ReadyMake and Make Magazine can help you get started. You can also sell off your crafts on Etsy as a way to supplement that “fun” money. Most states allow you to make a small amount each week without affecting your unemployment check.

8. Throw a party. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can keep costs down by offering only beverages and appetizers, or throw a potluck. What better way to show off those house projects you’ve been working on?

9. Start a blog. You can use it to explore a hobby you like, share your adventures with family, or as another way to show off your skill set to employers. But don’t just limit yourself to writing a blog, read other blogs as well. Getting involved in the blogging community is a great way to make new friends and network.

10. Continue to put yourself out there. Before you have your fun, do your due diligence. Hit up all the job sites. Schedule meetings to network with new people. Attend job fairs. Tweak your resume. If you know you’re doing all you can to find a new job, you’ll be able to kick back and enjoy the fruits of being funemployed.

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For more tips to help you manage your home, money and credit – with or without a job – check out Quizzle.com. There, you can take advantage of the Credit Personal Trainer to make sure your credit’s in tip-top shape so when you find the job of your dreams, you can put your best foot forward. And check out these other great money-saving articles: